The Alternative Law Groups (ALG) is a coalition of twenty (20) legal resource non-governmental organizations that adhere to the principles and values of alternative or developmental law. These organizations have distinct programs for developmental legal assistance that is primarily concerned with the pursuit of public interest, respect for human rights and promotion of social justice.
At the heart of alternative lawyering is the dual work of empowering the poor and the marginalized, and effecting justice system reforms. The first component entails enhancing the capacity of the poor and marginalized groups to access and use judicial, quasi-judicial and other mechanisms for addressing their issues and concerns, and for protecting and enforcing their rights. The second focuses on the pursuit of a favorable policy environment that promotes the rights and interests of the poor and marginalized.
ALG members’ operations cover a wide area of concerns involving justice issues of the poor and marginalized groups in the Philippines. These include issues on women, labor, peasant, fisherfolk, children, urban poor, indigenous peoples, persons living with HIV-AIDS, local governance, and the environment. Collectively, the coalition members’ operations cover the entire country, with some ALG members having nationwide coverage and operating in different areas throughout the Philippines, and others focusing their operations on a particular locality or region.
Although the coalition members have their respective program priorities and strategies in their respective areas of operations, their work can be categorized into four major components: Education, Policy Reform Work, Litigation, and Research and Publication.
I am a young lawyer who has been in practice for over a year. I started my career in a law firm and gained experience mostly in corporate law. My skills in litigation would only be tested when corporate clients feel the need to file cases. After a year in private practice, I realized that my true passion is in environmental law. It was for this purpose that I joined the Alternative Law Groups, Inc. (ALG) as the litigation coordinator for the Environmental Defense Program. In joining the network, I hope to learn how others address the issues on environmental justice and, thereafter, develop methods to effectively achieve the same for the Philippines.
Atty. Maria Generosa T. Mislang obtained her juris doctor degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1997 and passed the Philippine Bar Examinations in 1998. In 2002, she obtained her Master of Laws in Public Service Law degree from the New York University School of Law. She has been with Tanggol Kalikasan (A public interest environmental law office) from 1999 where she provides direct legal services to community clients (fisherfolk, farmers, upland dwellers, urban poor, and indigenous peoples) affected by various environmental issues. She is currently the National Coordinator of the Alternative Law Groups.
Lawyer. Deputy Coordinator. Democratic reform and legal empowerment advocate.
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